Six-wicket hauls Will improve Most of Jamaica’s good cricketers, as happened this year, play cricket for four or five weeks a year, in March and April, but what happens in the months of May, June, July, and August? Those are the months for cricket in Jamaica, and the more we play, properly, with the best up against the best, the more we will improve. We need a long season annually in which to develop our cricket, for the best to play against the best, on good pitches and on bad pitches, in rain or shine, for the batsmen to really learn to bat, for the bowlers to really learn to bowl, (fast leg breaks, googlies, et cetera), and for everybody to learn how to field properly. We need a competition of the best eight or ten clubs playing all over Jamaica in one league of return matches. Those clubs will eventually attract the best players, and with the clubs falling in line with good work habits and good discipline, with the players playing the right atmosphere and learning from it, the Jamaica team should be selected from these players. So many players do not train properly, so many players are not coached properly, so many players believe that they are good, and so many people believe that there are many talented players in this country. I do not know, but I do not believe so. But for a few, I do not see them. What I see every day are batsmen who drive beautifully through the covers one or two times, batsmen who play a cut shot or two, and get out for 10 or 20 runs. I also see bowlers who bowl on a length most times, but who never attempt to bowl something like a “wrong ‘un” or even a “flipper”. Although a few of our batsmen look good, even when not in the nets, I have not seen, for a long, long time, a batsman bat for a day or a team bat out a day in a Senior Cup match. What matters really is that cricket has been losing ground over the years, and, in losing ground in its popularity and its influence, it has, like the West Indies, lost its strength. Cricket needs some serious action if it is to survive, and if it is to make a U-turn and show some improvement while really developing itself. Cricket needs to divide itself into three groups, into those who play for fun and exercise, those youngsters who play to get better, and those who play seriously with the aim of doing so professionally at the first-class level and beyond. Jamaica’s cricket needs many competitions for its many players. The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), however, needs to spearhead one long two-day competition so that its few talented players can train daily to play against each other on Saturdays and Sundays in return matches for a season of 14 or 18 matches. Rome was not built in a day, and the standard of Jamaica’s cricket cannot and will not be built in a day, regardless of who thinks so. Losing ground The Senior Cup cricket season is over, and congratulations to Melbourne on being crowned champions, and to St. Thomas for reaching their first final. The question may well be asked of Melbourne, however, and justifiable so, and especially by cricket lovers, champions of what? The season has come and gone. It lasted only a few weeks, between late March and early May, and it only lasted until May because of a protest which extended the season by one week. Melbourne, having won the cup for the umpteenth time, although not for some time, may not mind it. They certainly will not mind winning the $500,000 prize money, and neither will the one or two players who did really well as batsmen, bowlers, and as fielders, throughout the exercise. With 23 teams playing in the competition which was divided into four groups, probably because of the lack of money, with each team playing four or five matches before going in the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, and the final, the competition was too short, much too short at that. Whatever is said about Jamaica’s cricket, regardless of how many people play the game, regardless of how many competitions there are around the country, and regardless of who wins these competitions, Jamaica’s cricket is poor, and it is getting weaker and weaker. Once upon a time, cricket was the number one sport in Jamaica. Today, it is not so. Today, and it really does not matter, it is number three, behind football and track and field, or track and field and football. Some of our batsmen score hundreds in local cricket. They hit the ball to all parts of the field, and some of bowlers take five or six-wicket hauls by just attempting to bowl wicket to wicket, and that is fine. Put a Jamaica cap on their heads, however, send them out to bat or to bowl for Jamaica, and they look, most of them, like misfits. Jamaica is not a rich country, and it cannot do the things that others can do. It can, with a little planning, however, do a lot more to develop our cricket, or, at least, to make it as good as it was once upon a time with what we have. We do not need to talk about longer terms in office. Two years is a long time, and neither do we need to propose term limits for officers. Jamaica is too small a country. The JCA needs to talk to the Government also. The Senior Cup should be the biggest competition in the land, and, therefore, it should carry the highest prize money. If cricket is to progress, you cannot have a situation where a competition of less quality deals out a greater prize money, and where some players, definitely less talented, will, if there is clash, choose the competition which promises more money. Congrats Melbourne, and well done St. Thomas, but better, from cricket administrators, for cricket and for cricketers, is needed, and urgently.
‘A bit surprised’He told the Road To Rio website: “I was actually a bit surprised by Bridge making it into the A-Final in the 500 because there are some 200 metres paddlers now filtering into the 500m distance and doing so well. The K4 combination went on to finish sixth in the semi-finals in a time of 1:43.054, which meant another B-Final on Sunday. The South African quartet then placed fourth in that B-Final, which was won by Great Britain ahead of the Czech Republic and Spain. The bubbly Hartley remained as optimistic as always afterwards, saying: “Thank you for all the positive energy and wishes for my race today. It was a tough race with good athletes! I had to settle for 8th overall.” SAinfo reporter Hogg broke new ground for South Africa by becoming the first South African para-canoeist to take part in a World Sprint Championships. “Her up-and-down year with being sick and not being able to train as hard as often as she did in the past was also a worry for me.” Para-canoeingPara-canoeist Stu Hogg was also in action, finishing eighth in his heat of the K1 men’s 200 metres (LTA), with victory going to Tom Kierey of Germany. “It was a really hard heat and a difficult class for me. Big thanks go to Craig Mustard and James Godden (management) for getting me this far, plus all the support from everyone. I’m keen to really work hard for next year and improve on my weaknesses.” That result put Hartley into the B Final on Sunday where she posted a slightly faster time, clocking 42.737 to finish in eighth place. South African sprint canoe queen Bridgitte Hartley continued her fight back to full fitness with an eighth place in the final of the women’s K1 500 metres at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisberg, Germany on Saturday. Marharyta Tsushkevich took the win 41.145, with Sarah Guyot of France and Rachel Cawthorn of Britain following her across the line. K4Hartley’s weekend had begun on Friday, when, as part of the newly formed South African women’s K4 combination, she, Tiffany Kruger, Esti van Tonder and Kerry Shuter posted a time of 1:39.191 in their heat. She posted a time of 2:02.626 seconds in the final, which was won by Hungary’s Danuta Kozak in a time of 1:57.395, with Germany’s Katrin Wagner-Augustin placing second in 1:58.300. 200 metresEarlier Hartley had placed fifth in the K1 200m semi-finals, clocking 42.850 seconds. The winner, Slovenia’s Spela Ponomarenko-Janic stopped the clock in 40.229 in the third of three semis. Hartley, who won a bronze medal in the event at the London Olympics in 2012, was earlier this year felled by a bout of chicken pox, which set back her training and racing schedule, so her placing outside of the medals did not disappoint team manager Craig Mustard. “Missed making it to semi-finals by one position,” he told Road to Rio after his race. “Trying to take only the positives from this year and build toward next year. 3 September 2013
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University was named the overall winner in this year’s Solar Decathlon Design Challenge hosted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Virginia Tech was one of 45 teams entered in the competition, which was held over the weekend of April 12-14 in Golden, Colorado. Students and their faculty advisors worked over the course or one or two semesters to design “creative solutions for real-world issues,” according to the Department of Energy, before presenting their designs to a panel of judges. Unlike entries in the Solar Decathlon that takes place every two years, these projects are not actually constructed as part of the competition.RELATED ARTICLESU.S. Team Wins Solar Decathlon Middle EastSolar Decathlon’s European CousinVirginia Tech’s Lumenhaus Wins at Solar Decathlon Europe In addition to the overall winner, DOE named best projects in six other categories: suburban single-family, urban single-family, attached housing, mixed multi-use housing, elementary school, and office building. The TreeHAUS project The real-world problem that the Virginia Tech team was trying to solve is anticipated enrollment growth on its Blacksburg, Virginia, campus that will require the addition of 7 million gross square feet of housing by 2047. That has pushed real estate prices sharply higher, a problem especially for underpaid graduate students, the team said in a project summary. The team proposed a building consisting of 12 prefabricated modules on a 36,000-square-foot lot. Units would range in size from 1-bedroom units with one bathroom to 4-bedroom units with 2 bathrooms. The project would be built with R-37 walls and R-55 roofs, a shared 50-kW solar array, and energy-recovery ventilation. The proposal predicts a HERS Index rating of 34 without the PV array. Other features include a variety of automated and artificially intelligent building controls, wood-fiber insulation, dowel-laminated timber components, a landscaping plan that provides food for occupants, and rainwater collection for irrigation. The team called their project TreeHAUS after the way trees collect and distribute resources in the forest. “The TreeHAUS harnesses energy from the sun, harvests water from the rain, and cycles resources and information throughout its community in the same way that plants and trees do in nature,” the project summary reads. Other Virginia Tech teams won top honors in the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition last year, as well as Solar Decathlon Europe in 2010. Those projects followed the typical format of the competition, with collegiate teams designing and building their entries. West Point named a single-family winner The U.S. Military Academy at West Point had the winning entry for its single-family suburban design, one of two categories for single-family dwellings. The military academy named its project the “All American Abode” because it would be built at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the 82nd Airborne Division, which is known as the “All American Division,” the team said in its summary. The housing would mean healthier and better-performing housing at Fort Bragg and help correct substandard housing conditions for military families. The team from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with models of its winning entry. [Image credit: John DeLa Rosa / Solar Decathlon]The 1,456-square-foot houses would be built from structural insulated panels and placed on 0.22-acre lots. They are designed to operate at net-zero efficiency but still be financially realistic for the Department of Defense. Each would feature three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, ground-source heat pumps with energy-recovery ventilation, and a variety of sensors and actuators that monitor and control mechanical systems. Electricity comes from a 7.4-kW PV array. The team said construction costs should be about $194,000, with utility costs of about $42 a month. “The All-American Abode seeks to revolutionize the way the Army currently views sustainable living,” the team said. Georgia Tech wins the urban single-family title The entry from the Georgia Institute of Technology is a 2-bedroom, 2-bath house of 950 square feet built with structural insulated panels. It will be part of an urban subdivision of high five-performance homes in the Grove Park neighborhood of Atlanta. The school collaborated with the Grove Park Foundation, a charitable organization, in developing a design that could revitalize the area, according to the team’s summary. The statement notes that residents of neighborhoods like Grove Park often don’t have access to energy-efficient housing, and that “energy insecurity” in Grove Park is among the highest in the area. Georgia Tech’s entry is a project for Atlanta’s Grove Park neighborhood. [Image credit: Georgia Tech]The net-zero house is to be constructed on a site close to a community of nearby cottages. The lot is to include communal spaces, an area for gardening, and green spaces. Grove Park, which was originally developed to house factory workers, is 95% minority-occupied with some 2,500 housing lots — 30% of them vacant. Eighty-five percent of Grove Park residents are on fixed incomes, and the boggy area is subject to regular standing water and high mold counts. The team’s object was to design a template for affordable housing in the area. “The primary goal of this project is to make affordable net-zero homes to address the disproportionately high energy burden of Grove Park residents compared to the rest of the Atlanta metropolitan area,” the team’s summary says. Details about other entries in the competition, plus a list of schools that took park, can be found here.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prove that she took money selling her paintings.The TMC chief’s strong reaction comes after BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday alleged Ms. Banerjee’s paintings were bought by chit fund owners for crores of rupees.Addressing a public meeting here, Ms. Banerjee said the BJP leaders have no courtesy and her party has initiated defamation proceedings “over the baseless allegation“.“Modi Babu (PM), I challenge you to prove that I have taken a single penny (for selling the paintings) in my account. You talk like a barbarian and have no courtesy,” Ms. Banerjee said.